The yoke's on me
The other day, C & I had just finished watching The Office, and he asked how many episodes were left. I replied "Only one" and he said "Oh no! It's the last but one! I'm going to be so sad when it's over." I burst out laughing, and said "What did you say?" and he repeated "It's the last but one episode?"
Still laughing, I said "You can't say it like that - you say it's the second to last episode". He thought about it for a minute and then insisted that it was an actual phrase, so we turned to our good friend Google. And what do you know - it is indeed acceptable to say "last but one". Looks like English Weekend backfired on me this time!
So that brings me to the question - does anyone out there actually use this? Maybe it's specific to British English? It just sounds so awkward to me, like someone translated a foreign phrase word-for-word into English.
Labels: C's follies